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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Johnson County, Arkansas published by Southern Publishing Company in 1891.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Darius Willett has won his way to the front ranks among the energetic farmers of Johnson County, and owing to the attention he has always paid to each minor detail of his work he has accumulated a fair share of this world’s goods. He was born on Blue-Grass soil April 15, 1824, to Griffith and Rhoda (Styles) Willett, the former a native of Maryland and the latter of New Jersey. Darius Willett was reared to a farm life in his native county of Nelson, and although his advantages were quite limited, he yet obtained sufficient knowledge of the “world of books” to enable him to teach school. At the age of twenty-one years he began working for himself for wages, which life he continued until he was twenty-three years of age, at which time he went to the Lone Star State and engaged in farming and distilling. In 1862 he came to Lawrence County, Ark., where he purchased a farm of 300 acres, but upon this he resided for only eight months, when, on account of the unsettled state of the country he returned to Nelson County, Ky., where he remained during the remainder of the war. In 1865 he returned to his farm in Arkansas, and was actively engaged in its cultivation for twelve years, at the end of which time he sold out and came to Johnson County, settling on the farm where he is now living, one and one-half miles west of Clarksville, which now amounts to 241 acres of fertile and valuable land, 175 acres being improved with a good frame house, excellent barn and other necessary farm buildings, and is now making arrangements to erect a new barn in the spring of 1891. His principal crops are oats, corn and cotton, all of which can be raised in abundance, and he also has a small strip of tame-grass meadow which yields well, timothy and red top doing exceptionally well. Mr. Willett was born April 15, 1824, as above stated, and when twenty-eight years of age was married to Miss Mary A. Carter, of Marion County, Ky., who died about three years after her marriage, leaving two children: Mary Ann and Henry David. In 1863 Mr. Willett’s second marriage was consummated, his wife, Miss Virginia Kirlley, being a native of Taylor County, Ky. About four years after their marriage this wife also departed this life, leaving a son and daughter: Robert H. and Virginia. The third union was to Miss Mary Wadley, of Lawrence County, Ark., formerly of Tennessee, a daughter of Dr. D. S. Wadley. They have five children: Susan, Maggie, Lewis, Callie and Bascum. The family worship in Christ Church, in which Mr. Willett holds the office of elder. He has always been a man of progressive views, and is justly considered a man of sterling worth and strict integrity, striving at all times to “do as he would be done by.”

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This family biography is one of 65 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Johnson County, Arkansas published in 1891.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Arkansas family biographies here: Johnson County, Arkansas

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